Three Poems

Very happy to share news of the publication of three poems in Narrative Northeast's "Eco Issue," alongside such poetic heroes as Camille Dungy and Kwame Dawes. You can read my small contribution here (preferably on a full screen, for best formatting with the image). Even better, my pieces are accompanied by this lovely illustration by my brother Sam Linstrom! His work is amazing and you should follow him on Twitter!

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Soot, 2018, by Sam Linstrom, b. 1992

The illustration responds to the first poem, "Soot of a Young Star," which began in very different form nearly a decade ago in Valparaiso, IN. It's based roughly on a dream I had, and kind of on pulsars. Thanks to sitting with me in your office working this over for probably over an hour once upon a time, Allison Schuette! This piece definitely wouldn't have seen the light of day without you. It also was workshopped in Maurice Manning's group at the Sewanee Writers' Conference in 2015, which gave me a huge boost of confidence and some great new directions, and I read it in the barn at the Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writers' Conference last summer. There's something appropriately cyclical about it having come out during Holy Week... which will make sense to anyone liturgically inclined who reads it.

The next two poems, "Retting" and "Little Deaths," I first wrote in the MFA program at Iowa State, both I believe for Debra Marquart's poetry workshop. Thanks Deb, and all my MFA peeps! They were written partly in response to my grappling with my grandmother's death that year from lung cancer. "Retting" draws on one of the steps in making linen from linseed, or flax, which is one root of my Swedish last name. "Little Deaths" owes something in particular to the Bungalow in Ames and its incredible backyard ecosystem.